New Report: Devolved federal governance crucial to protect sustainable customary land tenure systems in Burma.
‘Our Customary Lands,’ a report launched today by the Ethnic Community Development Forum “ECDF”, is calling on the government to protect and recognize ethnic customary land management systems through a new federal constitution and decentralized legal framework.
The report provides unique insight into the intricate structuring of seven customary land management systems in six ethnic states, which have enabled communities to protect and sustain local livelihoods and resources for generations.
‘Local communities have their own detailed rules and regulations that promote self-reliant livelihoods and provide stronger environmental protection than the national laws,’ says Kamoon, the lead researcher from ECDF. ‘Decision-making on all major issues related to land is made by consensus in village meetings.’
Investment and premature integration into the centralized national system are threatening existing ethnic land tenure systems, especially following the signing of bilateral ceasefires between ethnic armed groups and the government over the past five years. The government has been promoting individual land titling, which is undermining traditional communal systems.